What Do Chinchillas Do at Night? [Everything You Need to Know]


As chinchilla owners, we all have a curiosity that strikes from time to time. Sometimes it’s essential questions such as what to feed our chinchillas and sometimes it’s questions that are purely based on more curiosity than anything else. For me, when I first adopted my chinchilla, I had a combination of both forms of questions. One of the questions may seem a little silly, but I remember searching for the answer to this question, so I wanted to help you as well. What do chinchillas do at night? After owning a chinchilla and doing the research myself, here’s what I can tell you on the topic.

So, what do chinchillas do at night? Chinchillas do a few things at night. First, they sleep for several hours in blocks of time, and they also may become active for small amounts of time in the late evening in most circumstances. My chinchilla will be active from about 7:30PM-10:00 PM and outside of that, she sleeps.

This likely probably doesn’t satisfy all your curiosity, so I wanted to take the time to break down a few other questions and answers about chinchillas’ behaviors and what they tend to do at night.

Stick around for just a minute, and I’ll attempt to cover everything I know about these loveable furry creatures.

More About Chinchilla Behavior at Night

Surprisingly, chinchillas don’t do a whole lot at night. I know my chinchilla will come out and run around and be active like I stated previously from about 7:30PM-10: 00 PM.

If this is standard time or a bedtime type setting for you, it may not be the best to keep your chinchilla in the same room as you sleep. They are noisy depending on the kind of cage you use and what activities you have for your chinchillas inside the cage.

My chinchilla during active hours will come out and go on a bit of “jumping frenzy” from shelf to shelf and place herself inside her exercise ball and eat any hanging toys or treats I have attached to the cage.

The exercise ball I have inside her of a cage has both sides popped out of it.

I did this because it’s one of the old school plastic hamster/Guinea pig balls and I was concerned with overheating so having just a ball that she can jump through but with both sides open for ventilation, I felt was the best compromise to avoid the overheating issues.

Outside of that behavior, my chinchilla may grab some hay and sit on the top of her hiding box having a bite to eat or even a few pellets from her food bowl.

Nothing to Crazy, Remember to Afford Time Out of The Cage to Your Chinchilla

That’s it that all. Nothing too crazy about it.  Regardless of the size of the cage, this is one of the reasons it’s so important to get your chinchilla out of the cage at least once a day.

As fun as you may have the cage structured for them to play with at night, nothing beats that short amount of time you provide them out of their cage to interact and bond with their owners.

It’s how the relationship grows and how you take a normal chinchilla, to cuddling, loving and friendly chinchilla in the future. They love the interaction time, and it gives them just something slightly out of the ordinary that they can do even if it’s short-lived and doesn’t last long.

Chinchillas make fantastic pets so it’s always important to do everything you can to keep them happy and provide this interaction time to keep their mental state healthy.

Not to mention, they need the opportunity to take a well-deserved and well-anticipated dust bath to help keep that dense fur healthy, shiny and prevent any skin issues causing additional shedding or fur slipping.

Do I Need to Do Anything Else for My Chinchilla at Night?

Nope, whatever you are doing is probably perfectly suffice. As always, I highly recommend that time out of the cage at least once per day, and this doesn’t necessarily even need to be at night time. Outside of that, you need to ensure that you have a safe chinchilla cage, plenty of space for them to jump around and adequate food and water supplies.

If you are checking all these boxes for your chinchilla, you’re doing a fantastic job and keep it up. No further actions are necessary to keep your chinchilla happy and safe regardless of what time of day it is.

Putting It All Together, Chinchillas May Be Sleeping, and They May Be Playing at Night

At the end of the day, your chinchilla doesn’t really do much at night. This is in part because they don’t really have much, they can do regardless how fun the cage is structured to be. They sleep for many hours per day and in large chunks of time.

Sure, they become active for a few hours and may hop shelf to shelf or jump around for a bit, but after they do so, grab a drink of water and get themselves some hay and pellets, that’s about it.

They are exhausted from the small time out and ready for a nice nap in the form of sleeping for 2-5 hours chunks waiting for you to wake up to come to get them to play.

We have a few related questions left to discuss before completing this post so if you have any further questions regarding nighttime chinchilla behavior, be sure to scroll down and check out those questions and answers.

Do any of you have any stories about what your chinchilla does at night? Any good video recordings of chinchilla behaviors taking place at night? Be sure to leave a comment below and share with the readers.

Related Questions

Do Chinchillas Prefer the Dark?

Chinchillas are not picky about light or dark. My chinchilla has roughly 12 hours per day with lights on and 12 hours per day with lights off and no natural light during that time. Chinchillas do perfectly fine in the dark seeing and getting around their cage without injury or harm.

Do Chinchillas Like Sunlight?

Chinchillas don’t mind light. However, chinchillas should be kept out of direct sunlight to avoid issues with overheating. Chinchillas do need some light throughout the day, but as far as natural sunlight, they will do okay without it and do not need it to be present in the room that they are housed currently.

Do Chinchillas See in The Dark or At Night?

Yes, chinchillas can maneuver around and find their ways throughout their cage in the dark. Vision may be more limited in the darkness, but chinchillas can see well enough in the night to move freely in their cage without having any injury or harm caused to them through the process.

Do chinchillas Sleep at Night?

Yes, chinchillas sleep in blocks of time but one of the primary time chinchillas are awake will be once at night and once in the morning. Depending on your daily habits and sleep schedules, these times may vary. Outside of these smaller active windows, your chinchilla will be sleeping in large blocks of time.

Are Chinchillas Active at Night?

Yes, chinchillas are active once during the night and once in the morning. This is known as being crepuscular. Chinchillas typically will be active or awake between 10-12 hours a day and asleep for the rest, but nighttime will be one of the active periods for your pet chinchilla.

Why Do Chinchillas Squeak at Night?

Your chinchilla may squeak at night for various reasons. It’s possible noises that they heard made them feel threatened. It’s also possible they are trying to communicate with another chinchilla if you happen to have multiple chinchillas or you’re perhaps a breeder. A chinchilla can also make these noises if they are in heat, fighting with another chinchilla or simply attempting to capture your attention.

Do Chinchillas Make Noise at Night?

Yes, this is entirely possible. Especially during the hours that your chinchilla is awake at night. Sometimes depending on if you have multiple chinchillas or the room you keep your chinchilla in, your chinchilla may make noises to attempt to garnish attention or while interacting, playing or fighting with another chinchilla.

Josh Martin

My Name is Josh and this is my 4 year-old female chinchilla "Chili". We created Planet Chinchilla to share all the stories about owning a chinchilla that you need to know. I'm the Author of the eBook "The Ultimate Chinchilla Care Guide, From Adoption and On"

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